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Open to the public by appointment from the owner/designer – please contact Joan Abel at: ABEL:DESIGN, 107 Monroe St., Hoboken, NJ, 07030; 201.610.0143:

The Hoboken Garden Club had expressed interest in educating their members about green roofs. To illustrate the process, a green roof was installed on a backyard garden shed in this densly populated urban environment. The shed is located in a 25′ x 60′ rear yard, one of the larger yards in the community. The purpose was to demonstrate the benefits of green roofs for reducing flooding, filtering pollutants and mitigating the urban heat island effect. The project was documented step-by-step, and formed into a slide presentation, presented at: The Hoboken Historical Museum for The Garden Club of Hoboken on February 22, 2006.

This was a custom installation on a garden shed assembled from a kit from a mail order garden supply company. Since the roof is sloped at 5 degrees, a drip edge was cut to fit and modified to form side walls to retain the green roof system. Modifications, cut with a wire snips, formed a runoff channel to direct excess rainwater into the planting bed. Materials used include an impermeable lining of ruberized roofing membrane installed directly on the wood roof. This was a scrap left over from a larger job nearby. The edges were caulked with a roofing sealant. A drainage net was fabricated using a gridded plastic lighting filter and geotextile fabric. A lightweight growth medium was created by mixing 50% potting soil with 50% concrete cavity block filler (Perlite/Vermiculite). This was installed to a depth of 1 1/2 inches. Two flats of sedum were installed, Sedum spurium “John Creech” and Sedum sexangulare. The filter fabric was subsequently trimmed away…and a mesh laid over the plants to prevent hungry squirrels and birds from destroying the project. A weekend’s worth of pleasurable work resulted in the finished product: a green roof on the garden shed. The most expensive materials were the sedums, which were generously discounted by the supplier. The project is nearing its first spring when the success of the plantings will be determined.


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